American Pop is a 1981 American animated film directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film tells the story of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family of musicians whose careers parallel the history of American popular music. The majority of the film’s animation was completed through rotoscoping, a process in which live actors are filmed and the subsequent footage is used for animators to draw over. However, the film also uses a variety of other mixed media including water colors, computer graphics, live action shots, and archival footage.
“American Pop” is the animated story of a very talented and troubled family starting with 19th century Russia and moving through several generations of musicians. The film covers American music from the pre-jazz age through soul, ’50s rock, drug-laden psychadelia, and punk, finally ending with the onset of new wave in the early 1980s.